A Christmas Present for Daddy

I have always had a great deal of difficulty changing N’s diapers. His mom has never had a problem – he just lies there and quietly gurgles – but it’s never been easy for me.

In the early days, he’d scream. As soon as he went down on the changing table, he’d scream, kick, and grab his toes. After several months, I hit on a new approach: I stood him up to take his clothes off, laid him down to change the diaper, and stood him up again to get the new clothes on him. If he only needed a diaper change, I still stood him up on changing table for a few minutes just to keep him in that mode.

I think the novelty of this approach appealed to him. He’d talk and point and gurgle when he was standing up. I always handed him a toy (usually a spoon, actually) for the actual diaper changing. Life was good.

About a month ago, however, he hit on the idea of head-butting.

When he’s standing on the changing table, I have to stay very close to him. I’m well within headbutting range. Even though he’s only tall enough to headbutt my chest, it’s still annoying and has turned the process back into the battle that I so used to dread.

This new battle has evolved over the past month, however, into something special.

For the first few weeks, it was a straight out battle: he’d head butt me; I’d try various punishments; he’d head butt me again.

About a week ago, however, when I started to yell at him for head butting, he leaned forward and kissed me on the cheek.

I was surprised into sputtering. For the past week, he’s been mixing it up. Each diaper change involved both kisses and head butts. Sometimes he leans forward to head butt me. Sometimes he leans forward to kiss me. It’s all very disconcerting.

Yesterday, while he was standing on the table getting undressed, he leaned forward and kissed me. No head butting, no fussing. The diaper got changed, and then when he was getting his new clothes on, he reached up to grab my face and pull it down so he could kiss my cheek.

Now that’s a diaper change.

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